Am I too Sales-y?

As sales professionals our job is to sell, right? We are in a time now where we need to be less "sales-y". Our buyer's tolerance is very low for aggressive, seller-focused tactics.What does it mean to be "sales-y"?

I'm sure you've all been in a position where you felt cornered, pitched at and pressured into hearing what someone is selling without showing any interest in purchasing. The focus is on them the seller. They typically deliver a monologue and rarely invite thoughts or comments from the buyer's side or even come up for air.

Why do people do this?

We feel safe and comfortable speaking about ourselves, but little do we realize it is a sure way to frustrate and turn our buyers off.
We make the whole experience one-sided. Not considering our audience's starting point. What they might be feeling, thinking, or hoping to get out of the exchange. Unable to meet them where they're at.
Many of the clients I work with started that way, leading every email, phone call, and video talking about them, their product or company.
Our brains are wired to care about our self-interest. The more we have to think outside ourselves the harder something is to process, says Will Allred, Co-Founder of Lavender.

Knowing this, how can we shift the focus to our client? come at it from a point of curiosity. Make the focus to learn about them, their business, and how they are getting the job done today. Curiosity invites our customers to share and open up, whereas telling them about us, our solution and why they need it shuts them down. Most buyers are not in buy mode, they are unaware they have a problem or the impact if left unattended. So, what do we do? We must tee up the right questions, and increase their self-awareness, by sharing insights, trends, and stories that invite our prospects to see themselves in the "before" state of the picture.

"A-ha" light bulb moment happens, but the awareness must happen from their end.
This is the art of sales, allowing them to feel it was their idea. Following this breakthrough comes a sense of accountability and ownership. "'Now I must act on it". The tables turn and they ask, "What do you do?" how can you help me?"

We are now invited to share what we do. We lead to it, not with it. Like a child, as tough as it is watching them build a tower block by block and watching it topple over because the base is too narrow. It is easy and obvious for us to see the solution.

- How can we increase their critical thinking skills?
- Invite them to lean into their curiosity.
- Ask them why they think it's falling over.
- What ideas do they have to keep it upright?

The excitement, joy and sense of satisfaction and wonderment are no different in our prospects.
Our role is to present relevant insights, in a meaningful way. Create dotted lines and let them connect them.
Next time you are on a coaching call with your team or a meeting with your prospect, I encourage you to Ask vs Tell. Be more curious than authoritative.

Seek first to understand, make it about them.

Learn more about them as people, and their business and get a full picture to increase our understanding of their situation.
When we jump in with half the information, we reduce our chances of advancement by more than half. Play the long game, detach from the outcome, and be present in the moment. Our only job is to learn more about our prospects. Keep it one-sided, their side.

What one thing will you do differently on your next call to ensure your prospect feels heard and the focus is on them?

About Karen Kelly

For 20 years Karen has been specializing in the art and science of sales and communication her passion and experience are helping technical sales professionals become more confident and to disrupt with value.

Her dedication to developing and delivering customized sales training programs provide her audience practical, relevant tools  that can be used immediately to break down the barriers in a competitive landscape and separate themselves from the noise.

Ready to get started?

We encourage you to take the first step towards change.
There are so many areas of business out of our control, yet we continue to invest in them and hope for a different outcome. What about your people? You have control over them and their development pathway. The ability to build a positive learning culture, improve their level of confidence and increase bottom line revenue.
Invest in them. Hone their sales skills to  attract your most ideal clients, gain the required commitments through  discovery, engage authentically  and create an enjoyable repeatable experience for your clients.
Reach out to us today for a complimentary call.
Let us sharpen your skills and change your outcome.

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